Drastic changes to Barclays uber Visa card for 2020- from star to niche offering!

Barclay Cards is making significant changes to their uber Visa card. While the changes of rewards earned might benefit heavy uber users, everybody looses with the switch earning universally useful cash back to uber cash credits. Read my review of the changes and what it means for current card holders or people interested in signing up!

If you are new to this site, please read “how we evaluate credit cards”. I do not hold the uber Visa card and receive no compensation for this review and have no affiliate links.

Here is a summary of what the uber Visa card offers:

  • Sign-up bonus of $100 cash back, after spending $500 in the first 3 months;
  • 5% credit on uber, uber eats
  • 3% credit at hotels, airbnb, airlines & dining
  • 1% on everything else
  • Up to $600 mobile phone insurance for theft or damage (up to $1,200/year)
  • No annual fee, 0% foreign exchange fee, EMV chip

The sign up bonus of $100 is not bad for a no-annual-fee card and has a low minimum spend of $500 over 90 days, making it easy to achieve.
While the credit of 5% on uber is the highest available and 3% on hotels, airlines and dining is very good for a no-fee card, earning the rewards as uber cash makes this only useful for very heavy uber users. You can’t transfer the rewards or use them to pay off your credit card balance. 
If you charge your cell phone bill to the uber Visa card, you can claim any damage from accidents or theft of your phone, for the market value, up to $600 per incident and up to 2 incidents ($1,200) per year. That’s a great feature for anybody who can’t live without their smart phone!
The $50 annual reimbursement for Netflix, Spotify, Apple Music or other streaming services has been removed!
A great feature for any travel credit card is that you don’t have a foreign exchange fee, which makes this a great card to use abroad. If you don’t travel internationally very often and don’t have a card without FX fee, that can make this no-annual fee card interesting!

Bottomline: While I understand the marketing rational to make this card all about uber, offering the highest reward for uber purchases, the decision to issue rewards in uber credit takes most of the attraction out of this card for me. I know uber is trying to expand into financial services (like, apparently, every other tech company these days), the uber credit currency is of very limited use today. With uber pulling out of China and South East Asia, the loss of license in London and trouble across Europe, as well as Lyft rising as a strong competitor in the US, this card makes no more sense for me and I’ll be cancelling it when the changes become effective in 2020. 
If you are a heavy uber user for transport and food delivery, with a chance to use those credits, this card might have just become more interesting. You can find all the details, terms & conditions and apply here!

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